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Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Zach Charbonnet take part in UCLA’s bowl practice







It appears that UCLA might be at something close to full strength for the Sun Bowl.

Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and running back Zach Charbonnet were among the star players present Saturday morning at the No. 18 Bruins’ first practice that was open to the media following their bowl selection.

Their presence at practice does not guarantee they intend to play in the game against Pittsburgh on Dec. 30 in El Paso, Texas, but many players who are opting out of bowls have already made their intentions known publicly. UCLA did not make players or coaches available to the media after the practice session and is not expected to do so until late next week.

In another encouraging sign, defensive coordinator Bill McGovern roamed the practice field after having missed the last five games with what is believed to be a health issue. McGovern held what appeared to be a play call sheet and watched drills intently, just as he did before his absence.

At one point during the 20-minute session open to reporters, linebacker Kain Medrano walked over to McGovern and tenderly draped an arm around his shoulder.

Other key players present at the practice included wide receiver Jake Bobo, edge rusher Laiatu Latu, identical twins Grayson and Gabriel Murphy, tight end Michael Ezeike, and safeties Mo Osling III and Stephan Blaylock. Receiver Kazmeir Allen was not present during the portion of practice open to the media.

Ramogi Huma, executive director of the National College Players Assn., called UCLA’s planned move to the Big Ten a ‘short-sighted money grab.’

The Bruins could have a decided talent advantage given Pittsburgh’s expected absences. Quarterback Kedon Slovis has entered the transfer portal and is not expected to play, while All-American defensive lineman Calijah Kancey, a finalist for the Nagurski Award that goes to the top defensive player in college football, will miss the game because of a left arm injury.







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